Much recognition has been given lately to frontline workers, and rightly so. Medical personnel, retail employees, truck drivers, postal workers, and countless others have kept our country functioning in the midst of the current crisis, even as others have been asked to stay home. Moms have never been strangers to the frontline. They may not be in the public eye, but they are the original frontline workers in their children’s lives. As mothers bandage one boo boo after another, prepare countless meals, and dry rivers of tears, they are attuned to their children like no one else on the planet. Motherhood is physically, emotionally, and mentally demanding. In my experience and observation, moms often give more attention to maintaining their own physical and emotional health than to nurturing the life of the mind, despite the fact that it is equally important to our spiritual health.
When asked by a scribe to identify the greatest commandment, Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30) As women, we are typically very good at the heart, soul, and even strength sections of that verse. Often we are so worn out from performing the roles of short order cook, janitor, activities director, dispute mediator, and taxi driver, that we brush past the mind portion of the greatest commandment. But our children are fighting a new kind of battle in the world today that can only be defeated through sound reasoning. This requires that we strengthen and engage our minds with God’s Word, learn to apply critical reasoning skills, and teach our children to do the same.
While playground bullies still exist, a larger threat is posed by a culture that engages in linguistic gymnastics by redefining words and invading our children’s minds with unbiblical ideas. Our children are no longer just fighting against enemies on the playground who want to pummel them with their fists. They are up against an invisible foe who wants to capture their thoughts. One particularly insidious inroad is the cyber-bully capable of throwing virtual punches to their psyches from the other side of a device screen. Just as we would teach them to defend against physical threats, we must also train them to take every thought captive for Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” Our kids may not even recognize the danger at first glance, but it is our responsibility to teach them to recognize the hazards inherent in a culture trying to remake God in its own image. How can we equip ourselves so that we are prepared to equip our children? As moms, we need to put on our helmets, work out our salvation, and hold on to truth.
Put On Your Helmet
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit — which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
The first line of defense in the life of the mind is to put on the helmet of salvation for ourselves before we ever try to come to our child’s aid. This may seem counterintuitive at first, because as moms our first instinct is to protect our kids without thought for our own safety. But think of it as being similar to the way flight attendants instruct parents to respond in emergency situations. They tell parents to place the oxygen mask on themselves first before attending to their children. Salvation works the same way. Until we accept the life sustaining gift of salvation by grace and through faith, it is difficult for our children to realize its importance. We cannot pass on what we haven’t received ourselves. As they observe the peace, assurance, and security we find in our salvation, our children will be drawn to the hope we have in Christ.
Work Out Your Salvation
Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Philippians 2:12
After we have protected our minds with the helmet of salvation, we are responsible to daily work out our understanding of what it means to be saved. The sanctification process requires that we soberly and reverently seek to mature in our comprehension of the finished work of Christ on our behalf. We grow in our understanding that not only did Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection save us from something, but it saved us for something. We were rescued from sin and death for the purpose of walking daily in the abundant life God promises His children. Not only that, but we look forward to eternity in heaven with our Lord. If we only view salvation as a kind of “fire insurance,” we and our children miss out on realizing the full benefit of all that Christ accomplished for us. We miss out on the joy of cooperating with Him in His plans for us on this earth until He calls us to our eternal home.
Hold On To Truth
But test all things. Hold on to what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21
Finally, we should seek to practice discernment by letting go of those things that are not healthy for our minds. We are bombarded with information and entertainment choices coming at us from news sources and social media accounts from the moment our feet hit the floor in the morning until the time we lay our heads down on our pillows at night. It is incredibly easy to become absorbed in our own virtual worlds without carefully holding up the things we hear and see against the truth of God’s Word. Our microwave culture insists on instant gratification, and tells us that everything ought to be quick and easy. But sometimes the discernment process requires that we let our thoughts slowly simmer on the back burner for a while. By so doing, we allow truth to permeate our minds without reflexively accepting things that may not line up with God’s Word. As our children watch us wrestle well, test all things, and hold on to what is good, they learn to do the same.
This Mother’s Day as your children shower you with gifts, consider reciprocating with the gift of a mom who loves God with all her mind. Let’s weep and laugh with our children. Take time to run and play with them. But let’s not neglect to think critically and deeply about spiritual things, and to teach them to do the same. Our children will reap long-lasting benefits from such an investment. It will be a gift that keeps on giving as they pass it along to their children, and there is no greater joy in the life of a mom than watching a Godly legacy bloom and flourish.